It Don’t Mean a Thing (if it ain’t got that swing)

  • Number of parts: 4
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Difficulty: Some Challenges
A short classic jazz song that celebrates the joy of singing and swinging!


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This arrangement is in 4 parts: the original melody and 3 harmonies. The song is not particularly long and, for most of it, the harmonies follow the same rhythm and have the same words as the tune; for the other 2 lines, the harmonies have a different rhythm from the melody, but the same as each other. The different voices create some clashes, and Voice 1, in particular, doesn’t always follow an expected path. This is a tricky arrangement to categorise. Some groups will find it pretty straightforward, but experience has taught me that many groups take quite a while to get used to it, so I’ve categorised it as: Moderate with Some Challenges

I love songs in a jazz / swing style. The melodies are usually interesting, and they invite crunchy harmonies, the rhythms are often exciting and complex… but sometimes the words are problematic. They reflect the times when they were written and can be uncomfortable to sing these days. But that’s not the case with this song! It’s simply a joyful celebration of swing music and therefore a total pleasure to sing at anytime and anywhere.